Celebrating 15 years of participation, the Fort Wayne Fire Department (FWFD) and International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 124 will be out this Thursday through Saturday, August 23-25, with their “Fill the Boot” campaign to raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).
FWFD crews throughout the city will position themselves at high traffic intersections and collect monetary donations from cars stopped at traffic lights. “Every year during the ‘Fill the Boot’ we are humbled by the support the community gives us during this campaign. In 2011, the Fort Wayne Firefighters collected record breaking $91,046.21 and raised more dollars than any other department in the state,” said Captain Randy Zion, Fort Wayne Fire Department Firefighter and IAFF Local 124 MDA Chairman.
Muscular dystrophy (MD) refers to a group of more than 30 genetic diseases that cause progressive weakness and degeneration of skeletal muscles used during voluntary movement. These disorders vary in age of onset, severity, and pattern of affected muscles. All forms of MD grow worse as muscles progressively degenerate and weaken. MDA leads the fight against muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases. Money raised during the campaign supports local MDA clinics and research and funds services like neuromuscular disease support groups, medical equipment repair and summer camps for children.
Fort Wayne Firefighters enjoy this time of year because they have the chance to interact with many citizens of the community. “Firefighters see first-hand the ownership the public has taken in this citywide campaign,” adds Zion. “Often folks pull up to donate, and as they dump a large change canister in our boot, they tell us they have been collecting all year. The 'Fill the Boot’ campaign is a reminder to both the fire department members and the community, when you work together, the effort does make a difference.”